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CTV Atlantic rebuked over Dion interview controversy

CTV Atlantic must admit on air that it broke the Radio Television NewsDirector Association’s code of ethics during last fall’s federalelection campaign, a decision released yesterday says.

CTV Atlantic must admit on air that it broke the Radio Television News Director Association’s code of ethics during last fall’s federal election campaign, a decision released yesterday says.

The station must tell its viewers that it violated the article “regarding decency, consideration and conduct” for broadcasting outtakes from an interview anchor Steve Murphy conducted with Liberal Leader Stephane Dion leading up to the Oct. 14 vote, according to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council decision.

CTV Atlantic aired three false starts from the Oct. 9 interview, arguing the public had the right to see everything. The CBSC says it investigated after receiving 39 complaints, many stating that Murphy’s question regarding the economy was “awkwardly worded.”

But the CBSC says the main problem was that CTV Atlantic chose to air Dion stumbling over the question, even though the station had promised the politician that part of the clip wouldn’t be broadcast.

CTV Atlantic news director Jay Witherbee pointed out yesterday the adjudicators also found the broadcast was accurate and objective. “Four of the five codes (examined) went in our favour.”

Witherbee said “the CBSC acknowledges no violation on Steve Murphy’s part,” adding the station stands behind their popular newsman. “CTV is deeply concerned by the tone and the content of the council’s decision.”

 
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